Overview: Isabelle Gelot, a French illustrator and designer, and the heart of Isatopia, has shifted, at least for the time being, from a world traveling, semi-nomadic flow of life to one of home renovation and growing a vegetable garden, from light-filled cultural capitals to small-town life in Maine.

We talk about this new kind of adventure and the phases of life, the gift — and sometimes burden — of curiosity, and what it means to belong. It turns out there’s no word for “belonging” in French. But that doesn’t stop us from trying to figure it out anyway. We also talk about the call Isabelle felt from the city to the ocean. Among other things. 

Also on Apple, Spotify, Pandora, Stitcher, YouTube, Google and other players.


Connect with Isabelle Gelot:

Website: isatopia.com
Le Shop Isatopia: isatopia.shop
Isatopia on Instagram: @isatopia_
Isatopia on Pinterest: @isatopia_

Connect with Adam Williams / Humanitou:

Humanitou on Instagram: @humanitou
About Adam

Art Credits

Photo credits: Kristen Shackelford | 5iveleafphotography.com
Episode cover illustration: Adam Williams

Intro/Outro Music

“Upfronts” by Ketsa | freemusicarchive.org

*Full transcript coming.



Hello! I’m Adam Williams, creator and host of the Humanitou Podcast.

Today, I’m talking with Isabelle Gelot, a French illustrator and designer who last year moved with her husband, Will Hunt, a writer, from Brooklyn, New York, to a new adventure on the rocky coast of Maine. 

Isabelle Gelot, of Isatopia, Illustrator & Designer | Humanitou PodcastThe move is a notable shift for Isabelle, from a world traveling, semi-nomadic flow of life, to one in which she and Will have bought a historic house and are in the midst of a full-on renovation project, not to mention finally getting to grow a vegetable garden. 

Isabelle indulges my TV-based home renovation curiosities about this new phase of life they’ve dived into. Including, for Isabelle, that shift from cultural centers of life in Paris, London, Berlin, New York and other places to the relatively slow and quiet pace of small-town Maine. 

Going deeper, we also talk about being thirsty for life experience, and how curiosity sometimes can feel like a gift and sometimes like a burden. We explore the meaning of home, and what it means to belong. It turns out that in French, there is no word for belonging. But that doesn’t stop us from trying to figure it out, from digging into the nuances of language and culture.

We talk about shadow careers and we feel out what really matters in our lives. And I really get to appreciate how Isabelle finds happiness in her life. We share in our common connection with nature, and just maybe why it is that the ocean called Isabelle to Maine.

Given her broad, roving experiences — including opening her own online shop, called Isatopia, last year for, what Isabelle playfully calls “fun illustrated products made by French hands in the USA” — I ask her for some advice we all can take heart in when following our dreams.

So here we go. My conversation with Isabelle Gelot.